Calls for more control over food hygiene rules in Wales

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Media captionThere are calls for greater control over food hygiene, as Jenny Rees reports

Calls have been made for Wales to have greater control over food hygiene.

It follows concerns changes proposed by the UK's Food Standards Agency (FSA) could undermine the "scores on doors" scheme in Wales.

In November 2013, Wales became the first UK nation to require food outlets to display their inspection ratings.

The FSA is considering allowing third party auditors to be brought in to make much more limited inspections of premises.

Senior officers in Wales are concerned the changes are fuelled by a need for councils in England to make savings - something the FSA has denied - and believe they would undermine the improvements in Wales.

Mark Elliott, from the Directors of Public Protection in Wales, said: "We should in Wales really consider a Wales-specific solution now, to build on what we've done, and not mess up what we've already got."

The FSA said the proposed new system would give a better picture about a premises' standards every day - rather than just on the day they are inspected - by taking their own audits and systems into account.

It has also been suggested food businesses should have to pay for a licence before they could open.

A Welsh Government spokesman said: "We will continue to collaborate with the FSA and local authorities to develop a sustainable approach to food business regulation that works across Wales and which reflects the need to ensure that the highest standards of food hygiene and safety are maintained."

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